Art, memory and public space

First seminar
  • The first seminar of the series Art, memory and public space 2018 will deal with key experiences related to the creation of memorial monuments in Europe trhough the presentations of Horst Hoheisel + Andreas Knitz , Jochen Gerz, and Fernando Sñanchez Castillo;
  • The topics raised by the artists will be explored also by Dominique Trouche (Université Toulouse III), Maria Chiara Bianchini (Universidad Católica de Chile),  and Jesus Alonso Carballés (Université Bordeaux Montaigne);
  • The conference will be held on June 02  in the Peace Museum of Gernika and will include  a guided visit to the temporary exhibition Memories of stone and steel;
  • The series of  seminars on art, memory and public space is a joint proposal organized this year by the EUROM together with the Foundation of the Peace Museum of Gernika, Can Jonch – City Council of Granollers, and the Government of Navarra.


How could we portray what has disappeared, what is no longer there, what is absent and has been erased by time? How to explain horror, a trauma whose description only in words will never do it justice? How to fill the ethical vacuum in an anomic society that does not remember the value of the struggle for freedom carried out by previous generations? Art has become an essential element in order to answer these questions. Actions promoted by art have evolved according to their time and place: Holocaust, the victims of the Spanish Civil War, anti-francoism… They are neither remembered nor portrayed today as they were back in time.

The use of the past through art has no longer a meaning only perceived by restricted social spheres, for it involves instead a wider range of citizens aiming at a more active social role that is committed with the democratic memory. Public space has become the most appropriate scenery, the citizens’ agora where people walk, meet, debate, make claims, celebrate, love, and live. It is the optimal area to carry out these artistic actions, to trigger assaults in the agora, and socially enable or disable the rocks though the so-called countermonuments.

These are some of the experiences that will be analysed in this seminar series: their evolution, how they have (or have not) been able to query, cast doubt, and make people get away from their pleasing comfort, and start questioning the world around them. Experts and artists from different places in Europe will explain their experiences and work.

The first meeting will be on June 2, 2018, in Gernika.


Horz Hoheisel y Andreas Knitz. Artist and arquitect
« From the crushed history to the moving monument »

Dominique Trouche. Université Toulouse III
« Les monuments de mémoire des guerres : approche transversale des répresentations »

Jochen Gerz. Artist
« Your contribution »

Maria Chiara Bianchini. Researcher, Memorias en Red
« De lugares de represión a sitios de memoria : experiencias memoriales en Chile »

Jesus Alonso Carballés. Université  Bordeaux-Montaigne
« La memoria de la Guerra Civil en el espacio público vasco : monumentos y estrategias artísticas »

Fernando Sánchez Castillo. Artist
«Paralell Museum  »



Gernika-Lumo. June 2, 2018


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